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How Do You Fix Malocclusion Without Surgery?

February 23, 2024

alocclusion, commonly known as misalignment of the teeth or jaws, can lead to various dental issues, including difficulty chewing, speech problems, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. While surgery may be necessary in severe cases, there are several non-surgical methods available to correct malocclusion. 

In this article, we'll explore these non-invasive treatment options and how they can help individuals have a straighter, healthier smile without the need for surgery.

What Causes Malocclusion?

Malocclusion can occur due to various reasons:

  • Oversized Teeth: When your teeth are too large for your jaw, it can lead to overcrowding and affect the alignment of your upper and lower jaw.
  • Thumb Sucking: Persistent thumb sucking during infancy or toddlerhood can cause changes in the shape of the jaw and lead to malocclusion.
  • Tooth Loss: Losing a tooth may cause the remaining teeth to shift, resulting in malalignment and malocclusion.
  • Genetic Factors: Some individuals inherit conditions that affect the development of the jaw, leading to misaligned teeth and malocclusion.

What are the Symptoms of Malocclusion?

The primary symptom of malocclusion is often visible in your appearance, with noticeable issues like an overbite or underbite. An overbite, also known as overjet or retrognathism, occurs when your lower teeth are positioned too far behind the upper teeth. Conversely, an underbite arises when your upper front teeth are placed behind the lower front teeth. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty or discomfort while biting or chewing.
  • Speech difficulties, although these are rare and may include a lisp.
  • Mouth breathing is characterized by breathing through the mouth without closing the lips.
  • Inability to properly bite into food, often resulting in an open bite.

What are the Classes of Malocclusion?

It is classified into three classes based on the alignment of your bite and the positioning of your upper and lower teeth:

Class 1 malocclusion:

This is the most common type where the bite is normal, but the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth.

Class 2 malocclusion, also known as retrognathism or overbite

In this class, the upper jaw and teeth significantly overlap the lower jaw and teeth.

Class 3 malocclusion, also known as prognathism or underbite

This occurs when the lower jaw extends forward, making the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth.

What are the methods to fix Malocclusion without surgery

The following methods can fix malocclusion without the need for surgery.

Orthodontic Treatment:

orthodontic treatment


Traditional braces are a common orthodontic treatment for correcting malocclusion. They apply gentle pressure to move teeth into the correct position over time.

Clear Aligners:

Another popular option for correcting malocclusion is clear aligner therapy, such as Invisalign. These clear, removable trays gradually align teeth without brackets or wires.


After completing orthodontic treatment, wearing a retainer helps maintain the new position of the teeth and prevents them from shifting back.

Palatal Expanders:

Palatal expanders are devices that widen the upper jaw to make more space for crowded teeth and improve overall dental alignment. They are often used in children while their jaws are still developing, but they can also be effective in adults.

Tooth Extraction:

In some cases of severe overcrowding, tooth extraction may be necessary to create space for the remaining teeth to align properly. This approach is often used in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic Appliances:

Functional appliances, such as headgear or Herbst appliances, may be used to correct malocclusion by guiding jaw growth and improving the bite relationship between the upper and lower jaws.

Jaw Repositioning Appliances:

For individuals with skeletal malocclusion, where the misalignment is due to discrepancies in the size or position of the jaws, jaw repositioning appliances can help bring the jaws into proper alignment without surgery.

Myofunctional Therapy:

Myofunctional therapy involves exercises and techniques to strengthen the muscles of the face, tongue, and throat, which can help improve oral function and correct certain types of malocclusion, such as tongue thrust or open bite.

Lifestyle Changes:

Habits like thumb sucking or mouth breathing cause malocclusion. Making lifestyle changes to eliminate these habits can help correct dental misalignment.


Fixing malocclusion without surgery is possible through various non-invasive methods such as orthodontic treatments, dental appliances, and lifestyle changes. You can achieve proper dental alignment and improve oral health without surgery by seeking professional advice and exploring options.

Ready to achieve a confident smile? Book an appointment online with Perfect White Smile in Beverly Hills, CA, today! New patients can call us at (424) 284-8215 while existing patients can reach us at (310) 276-4537.


Is it possible to prevent malocclusion?

While most cases of malocclusion are hereditary and cannot be prevented, there are certain precautions you can take to reduce the risk in children. Discouraging thumb-sucking habits in children can help prevent certain types of malocclusion. If you lose teeth, consider replacing them with dental implants or dental bridges to help maintain proper alignment and prevent malocclusion from developing.

How long does it take to fix malocclusion without surgery?

The duration of treatment varies depending on the severity of the malocclusion and the chosen treatment method. It can range from several months to a few years.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with non-surgical methods of fixing malocclusion?

Non-surgical methods such as braces or clear aligners are generally safe, but they may cause temporary discomfort or minor side effects like soreness or irritation in the mouth.

How Can We Help

The smile of your dreams starts with a consultation.

Located in Beverly Hills Perfect White Smile creates the world's most beautiful smiles and relieves patients of TMJ symptoms. Many times, both can be achieved at the same time in the same procedure!

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